RATED ROOKIES: Five NFL rooks needing auto help



By Chris Olds | Beckett Sports Card Monthly Editor | Commentary

As part of the upcoming Rookies Issue of Beckett Sports Card Monthly,  we’re taking a look at rookies a few different ways.

Some are serious, some are fun and some, well, they’re just ones to marvel at.

One item inside that issue featuring Green Bay Packers rookie Eddie Lacy is after the jump … a hard-hitting (not really) assessment on five rookies’ autographs. You can see the rest inside the issue when it arrives in hobby shops next month.


Five NFL rookies who need autograph aid

“Why can’t they all be like Dennis Johnson?” That’s what collectors might ask when they pull his autograph compared to others in this year’s NFL rookie class. Johnson, a Texans rookie out of Arkansas, has a large, flashy signature that incorporates his uniform number into his letters. It’s impressive. While Russell Wilson — an “RC” auto — proved last year that a lacking autograph won’t hurt sales of hot-player cardboard, we’d like to this that it does matter. Besides, these guys get paid for these lackluster inking performances.

Would you write the check for them to do this?


Christine Michael, RB, Seahawks — Move over Vernand Morency, you have competition.


Johnathan Franklin, RB, Packers — We get it, you have more letters to write, but …


Stepfan Taylor, RB, Cardinals — The two-line autograph (top line first name, bottom line last name) works … if you actually spell it out.


Mike Gillislee, RB, Dolphins — “M dot L” … just wait until he starts abbreviating his auto to save some time.


Alex Okafor, LB, Cardinals — Actually, this isn’t that bad of an auto … but he just might be in the running for the Sharpie Killer award this year with that much pressure used while signing.

Are there other rookies who you think need work on their autograph game? Tell us in the comments below.

Chris Olds is the editor of Beckett Baseball and Beckett Sports Card Monthly magazines. Have a comment, question or idea? Send an email to him at colds@beckett.com. Follow him on Twitter by clicking here.



  1. Ben Menk 23 August, 2013 at 14:26

    Sadly this is becoming more the way of many athletes. With such a high demand for ink from players in a product, many of them get lazy and feel initials with a jersey number is acceptable for an autograph. Its a shame, considering they are being compensated for their time.

  2. Anthony C 23 August, 2013 at 14:52

    It probably doesn’t help that these companies give them the smallest sticker to write one. Stupid sticker autos.

  3. Franklin_X 23 August, 2013 at 17:39

    This is becoming the norm these days. Its sad really. “C’mon Man!” Sign a card like your supposed to. I admit my signature isnt that great , but if I was a sport celeb, I would work on it. The best auto I have ever seen is from the NHL. Sidney Crosby has a GR8 autograph. Class act for sure.

  4. Joe Cecil 23 August, 2013 at 18:22

    Hey you people arent the ones signing so stop whining, each player feels the way they sign is their own little trademark so we need to get over it already.

  5. Scott 23 August, 2013 at 19:11

    These guys make the good autos like Kirk Cousins stand out (and in baseball is any signature better than Harmon Killebrew’s?)

  6. Richard 24 August, 2013 at 01:31

    The problem is, they are still getting paid for crap.
    If the card companies would demand a reasonable level of quality they might get it.

  7. Paul Angilly 24 August, 2013 at 11:17

    This is actually a downside of the computer age. Most people don’t realize it, but cursive writing isn’t even taught in most school systems any more due to the focus on learning computer (typing) skills instead. So in many cases, autographs like this may be a result of the players quite literally not even knowing how to sign their full name.

  8. Ken 24 August, 2013 at 11:24

    I firmly believe that a big part of the problem is that kids aren’t taught how to write any more! Being a dinosaur, I remember Penmanship Class throughout my school years. To back up my argument, simply look at old-timers’ autographs. They are neat and legible. Heck, some of them, such as Mantle, Garagiola, Dawson, and Ozzie are works of art! Those guys were taught to write, just as I was, with care and precision, lest ye get Miss Smith’s ruler across your knuckles. Doesn’t take much ability with a pen to send a text message…..

  9. Trammell3 24 August, 2013 at 15:05

    the real problem is the card companies forcing these guys to sign their name 1000 times at one sitting. wouldn’t you simplify your signature if you had to do that?

  10. Franklin_X 25 August, 2013 at 12:33

    “the real problem is the card companies forcing these guys to sign their name 1000 times at one sitting. wouldn’t you simplify your signature if you had to do that?”
    Not if I was getting paid to do so. Not only are they getting paid, but the auto is going out to the fans. So ya, I would be and am disappointed when they “simplify” the sig… The whole idea of getting an auto is because fans collect the autograph, the players actual autograph, the same auto he would sign a check with etc. Not a “simplified” version.

Leave a reply